Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

How to Prepare Your Child for Getting Braces

by Brett Clark

Braces are an effective way of correcting crooked or uneven teeth, and a few years of treatment can lead to a beautiful, straight smile for the rest of your child's life. However, that doesn't mean your child won't be apprehensive about the treatment. Many kids worry that the procedure will be painful or that they'll be teased for their appearance. Following the tips below will help your child to feel as comfortable as possible ahead of their first appointment.

Talk them through the procedure

Getting braces might seem quite an involved process for your child; they'll have to attend lots of appointments and have their braces adjusted every few months. All of this can be scary and overwhelming, especially if they're unsure about exactly what's going to happen.

Reassure your child by talking them through the procedure, step by step. Let them know that the dentist will start by examining their teeth and recommending the best treatment. Next, a mold of their mouth will be taken to create the braces. You can be honest with your child and let them know that this might feel uncomfortable but not painful. Finally, the braces will be glued to the teeth, with regular adjustments made to keep teeth moving gently into position. If there's any part of the procedure that you're unsure about, ask the dentist to explain it to them.

Show them pictures

Showing your child pictures of the type of braces they might be given can help them to get comfortable with the idea. For fitted braces, you could look at different color options together and discuss which one your child likes best. Fun color choices, such as glow-in-the-dark and metallic, might get your child excited about their new braces. If your child is being fitted with a removable retainer, watching videos on how to insert and remove the application will be helpful, as well as give an idea of how it looks.

Ask them how they feel

All children are different, and while some may not be bothered by braces at all, others might become quite distressed. Sitting down to ask your child how they feel shows them that you care and allows you to respond to any concerns they have. For example, if they're worried about teasing at school, you might offer to speak to their teacher. If they're anxious about not being able to eat the same foods as usual, you can plan some tasty meals together (soups and stews are good options).

Braces are an excellent way to correct uneven teeth, but having them fitted can be stressful for children. Help your child to prepare for their new braces by talking them through the process and offering reassurance and support.